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Labour Force in Singapore Advance Release 2016

The LFPR remained on uptrend, despite dip in latest year; employment rate was stable while unemployment rate rose.  Real median income growth moderated. 



  1. The resident labour force participation rate (LFPR) trended up over the last five years, due to rising female LFPR and stable male LFPR. Amid the weaker economic environment, the employment rate was stable, unemployment rose and real median income growth moderated in 2016. These are the key findings from the “Labour Force in Singapore Advance Release 2016”1 report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower, based on data from the Comprehensive Labour Force Survey conducted in mid-20162.

    Main Findings

  2. After a sharp increase in 2015 (68.3%), the LFPR declined in 2016 (68.0%). The 2015 boost in LFPR was partly the result of one-off policies and hence temporary in nature. The LFPR has been on an uptrend in the last five years, due to a rise in female LFPR and stable male LFPR.
  3. The unemployment rate had been broadly stable from 2012 to 2015, in the range of 2.6% to 2.9% (seasonally adjusted), as the increase for males was balanced by the decline for females.  However, both male and female unemployment rates rose from 2015 to 2016 amid the weaker economic environment.  Consequently, over the same period, the overall resident unemployment rate rose from 2.8% to 3.0% (seasonally adjusted).
  4. The employment rate for residents aged 25 to 64 in 2016 (80.3%) was similar to that in 2015 (80.5%), as the increase in female employment rate offset the decrease for males. Among males aged 25 to 54, the employment rate declined to its lowest since 2009. Growth in employment rate among older males aged 55 to 64 was flat. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of higher involuntary part-time employment.  In addition, the incidence of discouraged workers remained low.
  5. Wage pressures have also eased in the latest year. Year-on-year, the nominal median monthly income (including employer CPF contributions) of full-time employed residents rose by 2.7% to $4,056 in June 2016, or 3.2%3 in real terms (after adjusting for inflation). This moderated from the increase of 4.7% (nominal) and 5.3% (real) in June 2015.

    For More Information

  6. The report is available on the Ministry of Manpower’s website at A full report of the survey findings will be published in the “Labour Force in Singapore 2016” report on 26 January 2017.



  1. Previously known as the “Singapore Workforce” report.
  2. Data in the report pertain to the resident population, comprising Singapore citizens and permanent residents, and refer to June periods.
  3. preliminary